Malcolm Harbour

Malcolm Harbour
Malcolm Harbour MEP
Member of the European Parliament
for the West Midlands
Assumed office
20 July 1999
Personal details
Born 19 February 1947 (1947-02-19) (age 64)
Woking, Surrey, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Malcolm Harbour (born 19 February 1947) is a British politician. He is a Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands.[1] He is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group and the Chairman of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.



Motor industry

Malcolm Harbour was educated at Bedford School (1960–64), Trinity College, Cambridge (1964–67) where he gained a BA in Mechanical Services, and at the University of Aston (1967–70) where he gained a Diploma in Management Studies.[2] He began his career in the motor industry, working as an apprentice at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham (1967–69). From then until 1980 he held various posts in design, development and product planning in the Rover Triumph Division.[3]

In 1980, Harbour became a director of Austin Rover with responsibilities for planning, sales and marketing. He co-founded Harbour Wade Brown, a motor industry consultancy, in 1989 and the International Car Distribution Programme Ltd in 1993, of which he remains a director.[3] He was also briefly project director of the Three Day Car Programme (1998–99).[2]

In 1997, he was named as one of the most 200 influential people in the world car industry.[3]

European Parliament

Harbour became an active member of the Conservative Party in 1972.[3] He first stood for the European Parliament in 1989 in the constituency of Birmingham East but failed to win election.[3] He missed out again in 1994, before finally, in 1999, being placed high on the Conservative list for the new multi-memberWest Midlands region constituency, ensuring his election in the 1999 European Parliament election.[3] Initially a member of the European People's Party–European Democrats Group (EPP–ED) he gained an influential position on the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, serving as the EPP–ED spokesman and co-ordinator.[2]

Harbour was also delegated several other responsibilities in the European Parliament. He was Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Science Policy Panel (STOA), and a member of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee and the Inter-Parliamentary Delegation to Japan.[3] He is a co-chairman in Parliamentary Forums for the Automobile and Society, the Ceramics Industries, and the European Internet Foundation.[3] He is also Chairman of the Conservative Technology Forum. From 2004 to 2006, he played a determining role in steering the Services Directive through the Parliament. He has also been active on the single market strategy, communications framework legislation, type-approval of motor vehicles, and the digital economy.

On 13 January 2005, Harbour was appointed by the European Commission to 'Cars 21', a High Level Group convened to discuss the competitiveness in the European automobile industry. Harbour was one of two MEPs on this panel. Other members included Government Ministers, European Commissioners, and the heads of major EU automotive firms. The goal of the group is to define the best possible regulatory approaches.

After the 2009 European Parliament election, Harbour transferred to the new European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR).[2] He was nominated by the ECR and then subsequently elected as the chairman of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, making him one of the most influential and powerful ECR MEPs.[4]

In May 2006, he was named the UK's 'most small business friendly MP' by members of the Forum of Private Business.[3] He was nominated for this award again in 2007. His 2009 campaigns include well known efforts to save jobs and skills at Jaguar Landrover as well as involvement with other manufacturers across the region. As a result of his expertise in manufacturing industry and the automotive industry in particular he has been appointed as an advisor to the shadow Minister for Business, Kenneth Clarke.

Personal life

Harbour married his wife, Penny, in 1969. He has two daughters, Louise and Katy, and two grandchildren. He lives in Solihull. His interests include travel, cooking, choral singing and motor racing.[3]

Views on software patents

Harbour is well known for his controversial pro-software patent views. He was one of the most outspoken supporters of the EU software patents directive until its ultimate rejection by the European Parliament in July 2005. He has been characterised as a software patent extremist,[citation needed] since he favours permitting Program Claims, a view not shared by most other supporters of software patents.[citation needed]

Within the European Parliament, he is associated with the Campaign for Creativity, a pro-software patent lobbyist group, in part because of unsolicited email sent from his address on behalf of that group. [5]


  1. ^ Malcolm Harbour's profile on
  2. ^ a b c d European Parliament profile: Malcolm HARBOUR MEP.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Malcolm Harbour MEP, West Midlands Conservative MEP team.
  4. ^ "Harbour: Public procurement to drive recovery". EurActiv. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  5. ^ Ingrid Marson (2005-06-06). "Pro-patent lobby in sticky situation over ice-cream offer".,1000000308,39202009,00.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-27. "On Wednesday last week, every Member of the European Parliament and their assistants received an email from Malcolm Harbour, a Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, inviting them to an event held by pro-patent group Campaign for Creativity (C4C) in Brussels." 

External links

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